Ride along

  1. I have the opportunity to do a ride along or a shadow with a flight nurse crew here in New Mexico with the University of New Mexico Hospital which is our states only level 1 trauma center.

    I'm wondering what I should expect when I shadow them. What should I wear (my inclination is to wear scrubs or some pants that are easy to move in, not jeans or dress pants)? What should I bring? Am I allowed to bring a camera to document what my day was like? I realize that I would not be able to take pictures of scenes or the pt's (and I really don't want to.......to much legal liability there) where we pick people up with, I'm just wanting pictures of the aircraft (I believe they do fixed wing). What are my limitations? I'm really afraid of getting in the way. Where there be a place for me to sit and still be able to observe without interfering in their work?
  2. Visit aerorunner80 profile page

    About aerorunner80, ADN, BSN

    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 581; Likes: 197
    NICU nurse turned FNP student class of 2019; from US
    Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience in NICU


  3. by   Shamira Aizza
    You need to call them and ask them what their policies are regarding dress-code and cameras.

    BTW, something that never seems to get passed on is that you need to bring some lunch...possible ADD a few portable items to your lunchbag like a COUPLE Of protein bars that you can carry in your pocket, along with a bottle of water. ALSO...bring a jacket, even if it's warm. It's easier to shed the jacket rather than tough it out just because the event may be exciting. The portable snacks are not just to bridge you till your next meal, but they may mean the difference between an afternoon of nausea vs. an enjoyable ride. Some empty stomachs don't travel well.

    So often we've had ride-alongs that didn't bring anything to eat, and showed up intending to style rather than stay warm or comfortable.

  4. by   Medic/Nurse
    Great advice from the other response, so I'll add.

    My program has "guidelines" for the ride-a-long to follow, but in case the program that you will be "shadowing" does not:

    #1 we use, the others are mine!

    1. Generally, non synthetic clothing is preferred and shoes with a hard sole. No denim jeans or scrubs, tennis shoes, no clogs or slip-ons. *I would think that twill pants (Dockers), cotton shirt(s) and a light jacket are essential. Dress in layers - the temperature can vary a lot.

    2. Follow directions to the letter. They will give you the safety rules. Follow them! DO NOT touch ANYTHING on the outside or the inside of the aircraft. SAFETY comes first.

    3. Style your hair in a simple manner. You most likely will be given a helmet to wear in the aircraft - fussy is not a good look. There is nothing wrong with being attractive, but this is not a beauty contest. Keep it simple and classy. Avoid pins & clasps.

    4. DO NOT wear heavy makeup - it gets on everything. I hate to clean it off of surfaces, headsets, helmets - etc.

    5. No perfume or cologne. Not even a little. You are in a very small space. This should be a no-brainer, but it is not. Show up all scented and I'll ask you to reschedule and return UNSCENTED. Not trying to be mean, it is a bad practice for patient care. It can also make some folks nauseous.

    6. As to the camera, I doubt that it would be an issue as long as you do not photograph patients. Just ask for permission! A pic with you and the flight team, or you with the aircraft is a great keepsake - just email me a copy too! (our program tries to picture everyone that we allow to ride, makes an awesome collage!) Just make sure it is small and not overused. Also, pics from the aircraft are cool - just NEVER use a flash in flight!

    7. "Air sick" is pretty bad. Even if you are not prone to motion type sickness, it can still happen. Non-drowsy OTC meds for motion sickness are a good idea from the start. You just never know. Eat light before you start your "shift". For me - crackers with a little cheese or a peanut butter sandwich works well. A ginger ale can work magic. Prevention is easier than recovery!

    8. Show up prepared. Research the program and flight services in general. Ask questions - tell them that you are interested in LEARNING! Most of the folks that do flight are the elite of the elite - so they are generally excellent teachers!

    Remember, you are a guest in their house. Act accordingly. Have fun. Learn a lot! Be SAFE!

  5. by   aerorunner80

    Thank you for the tips. They were good and I'll certainly keep them in mind. The last thing I would ever want to do is compromise anyone on the aircraft or, most importantly, to interfere with pt treatment.
  6. by   climberrn
    Did you do your ride along? I used to work with a bunch of those guys...awesome group of professionals!